Readers' reactions

June 16, 2000

Last month in The THES.. Andrew Oswald called on the government to increase fees paid by students to universities.

Andrew J. Morgan. University of Wales Swansea. It is sophistry to argue that fees could replace taxation to support higher education. We should all pay, as we do for the health service and the police: we all have a stake in these social institutions. Introducing the fee has created an obstacle for poor students and overcoming it with a scholarship merely shifts the moral bias - inequity remains. The only qualification for entry to higher education should be the ability of the candidate.

Janice Overal. Single parent with two children in higher education.

Which ivory tower in Warwick does Andrew Oswald live in? Has he approached his students or their parents for a view of the realistic financial nightmare that many of us endure? Go out into the real world, Mr Oswald, glean other opinions and facts from the "ordinary people" whose children are struggling in order to extend their knowledge to make a difference, whose ambition is supported by parents whose financial position is crippling and where every penny counts.

Muir Houston University of Paisley. Scotland.

Oh really, Andrew Oswald speaks such rubbish. I thought these backward ideas had long been thrown out. His piece is a short step from advocating the forced sterilisation of plumbers, blacks and any other minority apart from white bourgeois reactionaries like the author. I am disturbed that such genetic fallacies -the better the genes the better the university place - are given space. But since it comes from an economist it should be treated, like the rest of their pseudo-science, with the contempt it deserves.

The above are writing in a personal capacity.

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